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Richard Ragon

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Posts posted by Richard Ragon

  1. Hey everyone,

    I've been using ratchet straps for nearly 40 years.  Way before I worked as a sound mixer, I transported things like equipment on flatbeds.

    I bought a new van a few years back, and had it outfitted with L-Track (also known as airline tracks). And I bought some new tools for this L-Track. I also bought some new ratchet straps from a company called US Cargo Control. They seam to be heavily favored in Google if you look up these things. Any way, their ratchets started binding about 2 weeks ago. Personally, I thought that they would have lasted a long time considering how much these people advertise, and control google search results, as well as what looks like a whole team of people running this operation.  They claim that 3-4 years in life is more than anyone can expect in straps??  Really?  I have cheap Chinese ones that lasted 10+ years now!!

    I'm not complaining, because I understand that these are just straps.  But, I just thought they would last longer.  Here's a video clip of the "binding ratchets"

    Whats your expectation of how long these should last?  Inside a van, never seeing sunlight, and never been used in the rain.

    Suggestions for others?



  2. On 2/21/2021 at 12:44 PM, Paul F said:

    The point of the Adobe example is not that it is a subscription service, but that Adobe found a brilliant way to monetize themselves and get more money out of customers without coming up with a new product. Their revenue shot up like a rocket on the simple switch to subscriptions. 


    Likewise, SD is learning how to better monetize itself.  We all know the margins on hardware are nothing compared to software/firmware margins. The more a company can move to upgrades, firmware, and software, the better off they are. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's foolish not to take advantage of good marketing and find new and more profitable avenues of revenue.




    Next stop... You don't actually own a 888, you have to 'subscribe too it'...  LOL

  3. 18 hours ago, JonG said:

    Like @Johnny Karlssonsaid, you would probably never want to add it to the ISOs, but applying it to the mix would make sense in some situations. 

    As a post engineer, if someone handed me iso tracks that have been altered in any way, I’d be pretty upset, and probably tell production that they’d been tampered with. 



    I thought of this Joh..  But, sometimes you have these "run and gun" reality TV shows, that 'your' mix is going straight to the TV.  Might be saved.




  4. Just bought a new 888.. awesome!  Duggan mixing, more knobs, more tracts, simply just awesome!

    One of the features is NoiseAssist.. I didn't understand this because these say it comes with the mixer...  but there's basically a unusable shareware version on this, until you buy it again.  Looks promising for live gigs!  Might come in handy on those live gigs!

    I got over to the webpage  https://store.sounddevices.com/product/noiseassist/


    GOOD GAWD!!  2K??  Anyone buy this?  It just about doubles the cost of the mixer!!

    wow. Didn't see that coming.


  5. On 8/22/2020 at 7:32 PM, hobbiesodd said:

    We can certainly support it because it’s an open source thing (that the company really wants everyone to adopt). We would just have to build code for it.

    I think my partner can put out an ndi stream from qtake and test around that. I don’t know about the authentication side of it — that’s something I’d have to ask our CTO. 

    We have a pretty extensive list of features we’re working on implementing at the moment, but if there was notable interest in using Tethyr for NDI then I could make a case for pushing its support to the top. 





    Im interested in learning about this too.. 

    I haven't pulled the plug on anything at the moment, because I have another huge project in the works right now.  But, when we get back to normal times, I can work on this.





  6. Hello, everyone. 

    Been a while since I posted here.  I have an idea, that I want to run by everyone here.  On a lot of Films and TV shows, and some reality shows, were increasingly finding ourselves on 3+ camera shoots.  What if I were to tell you, that I think there's a cheap way to get a 4 camera feed from video village, to your cart using your current cart monitor set ups.

    Is anyone here familiar with NDI?  NDI is a extremely low latensiy video feed over IP, similar to the same way Daunte works for sound over IP.  You simply just 'encode' your HD-SDI, HDMI, or video picture, into an encoder box at video village, plug it into a network Ethernet, then run that Ethernet 500-1000 feet to your sound cart, and use a small mac or PC to decode the NDI signal to however many monitors at your cart.  The NDI signal can be software downgraded to 1080p, 720p, 480p and even placed in a window on your monitor.  This future proofs any set up that you have for many many years, and you don't have to ever buy 4K monitors to match the 6G-SGI or 4K or 12G-SGI signals coming from the camera department that keeps upping the signal.. Many sound mixers seam to be in that race to keep getting multiple faster rates from the camera these days.

    So, here's the gear. 

    #1 - I'm looking at the NDI birddog encoders that you place at your video village.  You just tap into your video village with a short HD-SDI patchs.

    #2 - Next you place an SFP+ into the BD box.  An SFP+ is a 10G Ethernet transceiver.  And you plug in a fiber link (any size you want) and move your cart 3 miles away if you like. You'll need one for both ends.

    #3 - You plug this into a fiber to thunderbolt 3 adapter on a Mac mini.  The mini Mac is cable of doing 2 HDMI outputs, and more if you add in adapters.

    #4 - You boot up the computer and run instances of VLC media player with the NDI plug in.  (Freeware)

    This set up would allow you to use any monitors that you have, or any cheap 60 dollar monitor or get one of those large monitors on your cart, and set up a quad video view for 4 monitors because all the settings are in software definitions.  All this is a pretty cheap way to get 4 high quality monitor feeds to your cart with only one cable.

    but there's more..

    Because your encoding the video feed to NDI IP, now it's possible to even send those feeds over the internet in real time.

    So, in theory, we could place a cheap WiFi6 router at the video village, and then a WiFi6 receiver at your cart, and run a pretty cheap wireless 4 camera feed from video village to your cart.

    So, anyone have an interest in this?  Let me know...  We can set this up, test it out, and maybe make this a common thing?

    -Richard Ragon

  7. This show has been going on for about 30 years.  In that time, there have been several incidents.  Once before a camera guy started CPR on someone once, and the sound mixer picked up the camera and filmed it!

    I've been on some crazy LA shots, but I don't think I'd be doing that one!

    I'm really sorry for the families that have been fighting to get this video released, and saddened by the loss of a brother in the field...

  8. I want to let everyone know about a pretty kewl technology coming down the pike used currently in live camera switching environments.

    It's called NDI (https://www.newtek.com/ndi/).  In a nutshell, it's basically what Daunte is to Audio, NDI is to Video.  It allows for IP based video to be driven over and routed from anywhere to anywhere over standard cheap routers, switches, and WiFi.  And the remarkable thing is that its open source, and a lot of hardware coming!

    Why is this huge for Sound Mixers?  Because getting video from video village has been a huge cumbersome deal, and it gets even harder if you times this by three cameras!!

    So, here's how it works.  You place a small device at video village that loops through 3g-SDI and turns that into NDI.  A single Ethernet plug then runs to your Mixer Cart where you view the video on a laptop, iPhone, iPad, Raspberry Pi, or any other computer.  So, three camera shots, convert ALL video signals over a single Ethernet cable.  Then converters run on PoE so no need for any power adapters at video village and at the video end, you can watch the video through a Mac mini, or your iPad.  And even split screen the video feeds to see three/four screens on one monitor.

    The reason why this is so awesome?  Because less hardware the better.. by having only 1 encoder box at video village, and a software solution at your cart, connected with a cheap Ethernet cable. It makes this solution very inexpensive.

    And, as a bonus, you can send a video feed to each boom op from the camera they are attached to.  This means that your boom op can 'see the shot' from his iPhone.

    Here's an example of one of the converters.


    There are some really attractive possibilities with this new open NDI standard coming.  We might even have WiFi based video feeds everywhere on set too.

    Just thought I'd give you guys and girls a heads up on this new stuff.



  9. On 8/18/2018 at 12:38 PM, Mark LeBlanc said:

    I have 2 PSM systems.. One is on cart running at 12v the other at 14... ZERO issues

    12 v Power is PSC Powermx original version and 2nd is Powerstar..

    On small cart with 788/Field venue/ 1 micron and wireless vid I get about 7hrs on 35ah pelican battery..



    PSM looks great..But, it looks like I can't use it for the bag system.. Which means, I would have to buy an entire other system for a bag system.  Price is great though.

  10. I wasn't planning on selling off my whole Block 24 ifb system, but someone offered to buy most of it, so I said, "well.. bite it and just get on with it".  

    So, I'm in the market for replacing it, and here's what I need.

    I'm a Lectro fan on the ifb side, mostly because while expensive, it just works so, so, so well..  I had x2 T4 transmitters on my cart, and x2 smv transmitters on my bag, and I was able to have 11 receivers that I could use for any bag or cart gig.

    1) The first choice, buy the whole system again with the same pieces, only in Block 22.  Retire the x3 venue channels, and x2 411s on the bag, and move all my wireless to block 19, 20, and 21.  Then just buy as many r1a's as I can.  Pros:  This would be the cheapest route as I can use the SMVs for new ifb transmitters for the bag.  Cons:  I'm afraid of putting ifbs in blocks close to my wireless.  Will the 'spray' from the transmitters, effect other close blocks??

    2) Second choice,  buy new 941 or VHF ifb?  x2 T4 units, x2 smvs, and r1a's.  I'm an FCC part 74 holder, so this is not a problem.  Pros:  Would put ifb far away.  Cons:  would cost a small fortune to buy everything.

    3) 3rd choice, buy M2 Duet System.  Pros:  would be nice to have all those channels, on my cart (and Dante).  Cons:  No bag set up, and even higher prices.. I would estimate close to 20K just for all the receivers.  Wow.  Does the M2 Duet System even integrate with r1a's??  

    4) Go with something other then lectro?  Comtec?

    Anyone else find themselves having to move around wireless lately?

    Thanks for everyone's input

    -Richard Ragon



    Hello everyone,

    I just lost a job on an independent american feature film to be shot here in France because american producers figured out it will be cheaper to bring over a 🙂

    So the question is what is the situation over there? is it really becoming or going to become common practice in the States to reduce the sound crew down to a single person?



    Producers will always try this..  But it 'burns' out the sound department.  Imagine a single sound mixer, holding a boom pole, and a 90lb pack, day after day after day..  Give it about 2-3 days, and you'll be seeing that boom on a c-stand, and then another 2-3 days and that poor guy's feet will just start to buckle.  Yeah.. That guy is going to quit.

  12. On 1/10/2018 at 10:22 AM, Ed White said:

    Soooo........ there were these 3 great looking gals from the mid west who decided to hop on a bus and go to Hollywood to see if they could "break in to the biz" during their first summer before college. They got a room at the YWCA, answered an ad for 3 weeks of 100 extras in a big studio picture, and abracadabra, they were extras on the set of a blockbuster movie. At lunch towards the end of the 3rd week, one of the girls confessed to the other two that she was sleeping with the producer of the movie who had already promised her a leading role in his next project. Well, said the second gal, I'm sleeping with the director, and he has promised me the leading role in his next movie. The 3rd girl then said, well, if we're kissing and telling, I'M sleeping with the sound man. "WHAT?!" the other two said. What the hell does that get you? You obviously haven't been paying attention around here said girl three. Everywhere you go on this set, everyone is always saying, fuck sound.

    For a second I bought this one... then, I went.. Heeeyyy.. I know this one..


  13. Whats longer lasting?  A SMQV with double Lithium batteries?  Or a 400 series with one of those Ultra batteries?  Or is there something else?


    Just picking other's brains.


    Thanks, everyone.


  14. 2 hours ago, old school said:

    Since this is such a wide open and subjective topic, I doubt we can find an answer in that one size never fits all. I will throw this out though, "Time".   Back in the day as they say, there was time to do things right. 60 day shooting schedules were the norm. One camera was the norm as was interdepartmental cooperation that was expected and a part of every set up and shot to complete a film. On top of that, actors who used the tools of the craft, their voices. Directors were seldom "first time" and usually he usually had one producer guiding the "story" they set out to make together. Add to that a reasonable post production schedule that allowed the director and producer to find the film they set out to make. And technically the dialog was one track and only the on camera actor recorded per shot. Re recording was not 196 tracks of ProTool files jammed and compressed into an over loud listening experience mixed with an unrealistic schedule where finesse is not an option. Not that we are ever going back, but something has been lost IMO. 


    Well. Well said.


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